Set in the 80s amid the flashy (and sometimes catty) throws of ball culture, Pose follows black transgender woman Blanca, a “child” of the popular and prominent “House of Abundance.” After she learns her HIV positive status, Blanca starts thinking more about what she’ll leave behind. The news inspires her to consider creating her own house, an idea that quickly sours with her current “mother” Elektra Abundance.
After a tense fall out between the two, Blanca stumbles into Damon, a black gay boy who recently became homeless after coming out to his parents. Looking for a place to go, Damon becomes the first member of Blanca’s new house. Helping Damon reach for his professional dancing dreams, Blanca’s gets him set up with an application to The New School for Dance. When he reveals he failed to submit it by the deadline, Blanca goes down to the school and with a rousing speech gets Damon a second chance. He ultimately stuns the judges and earns a spot in the fall class.
On Damon’s heels follows Angel, another former member of the House of Abundance and a sex worker. Yearning to be treated as the woman she is, Angel turns to Blanca – and her strict but caring rules – to find a new sense of family. But as Angel takes her place in Blanca’s household, she also becomes entangled emotionally and physically with a married white man, Stan, who is feeling out of his depth after being hired work for Donald Trump.
The trio solidify the newly formed “House of Evangelista,” who despite their relative new-ness, attempt to take on Abundance in an upcoming walk. While Blanca and her children score impressively high in their first showing, it’s not quite enough to beat Abundance, leaving them eager to try again.